Christmas Isn’t Merry When You’re #Estranged

Christmas Isn’t Merry When You’re #Estranged

Unmerry Christmas Christmas. It's that time of year when everyone is a little sappier, happier, and love seems to fill the air. It's a time for friends and family, to celebrate the memories of the last year. Yet for many people, Christmas is a time of sadness and of longing. It's a time of mourning relationships gone by and of remembering people who are no longer here. And for some, it's a time that simply reminds them that they've been cast aside by those they love. This will be the second Christmas I am estranged from my two daughters. I know there will be no cards in the mail, no text messages coming from them. They've made the decision that they don't want anything to do with their dad. That's the choice they've made. Honestly, since everything went down, I dread the holiday season. Actually, my dread begins in early November, my birthday month, and runs through the first of the year. Last year I didn't put...
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Imperfect Times Make The Best Memories

Imperfect Times Make The Best Memories

Imperfect Memories The imperfect times. Sure, we all can remember the good times, but what makes the strongest memories? What events do we laugh about for decades after they happen? My wife and I were watching Black-ish the other night, and it was all about trying to make the perfect Christmas memories. The oldest daughter was heading off to college and the dad wanted to make Christmas special because it was their last one. Now, this being a sitcom, you can imagine how it turned out....with the Christmas tree catching on fire and everything. Yes, Christmas had turned into a complete sh*tstorm. But at the end of the show, the dad said one thing: When perfect goes wrong, those are the memories that last forever. How true is this? Years ago, I'm talking the early 80's, my grandmother bought an RV for $900. She decided that over spring break, we would take a big family road trip from Michigan to Colorado to Las Vegas and back. Now,...
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Sometimes Victory Is Just Showing Up

Sometimes Victory Is Just Showing Up

The most super-awesome victory looks like a tiny victory. When I started this morning's post, this isn't at all the subject it was going to be about. Perhaps I'll save that for another edition of the Hot Mess Express podcast (shameless plug...go and subscribe now...trust me, it's awesome). Yet as they say...the best laid plans of mice and men...and I had a, well, not sure you could call it a dialogue, but a conversation with someone over FB this morning that pretty much derailed all that. In the past 18-24 months, more has happened than I think any normal human should ever have to deal with. It's been rumors, innuendo, backstabbing, anger, bitterness, and hurt feelings all around. I've been just as guilty as others. Top that off with having one of your kids hauled off in handcuffs and sent to a mental health facility for a week over Easter weekend, the challenges of helping your kid in coping with mental illness, and...
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3 Simple Ways To Deal With Toxic Family

3 Simple Ways To Deal With Toxic Family

Toxic family can be the most potent poison. From the time you're born, your family, their words, actions, and beliefs shape the person you become. Some of this is intentional, and most of it is totally unintentional. In fact, it falls under the umbrella of "we've always done it that way". Your parent's beliefs were shaped by their parents, and their parent's beliefs were shaped by their parents, and so on and so on. Now, while your beliefs, and that bullshit story we all tell ourselves, was formed by our families at a very early age, that doesn't mean that you can just lay all the blame at their feet for the way your life turned out. As you got older, and your knowledge of the world around you expanded, you became more and more responsible for making your own decisions. So, let's assume for the moment that you've identified your toxic beliefs and are making progress towards changing and eliminating them....
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